Woodbridge Center Mall Shoplifting Attorneys
Shoplifting laws in New Jersey (NJSA 2C 20-11) are strictly enforced. A person arrested for and charged with shoplifting may be charged with a felony. If convicted, a shoplifter in New Jersey will have a criminal record that will affect his ability to get housing, an education and a job. Woodbridge Center in Woodbridge, New Jersey is one of the largest and most popular malls in New Jersey. Stores conducting business in the mall include Dick’s Sporting Goods, Macy’s, Sears, Lord & Taylor and numerous other retail stores, restaurants, etc. As such, Woodbridge Center mall attracts thousands of shoppers daily. However, along with shoppers, shoplifters also frequently visit the mall. Store employees are vigilant in attempting to prevent shoplifting and Woodbridge police are ready to arrest any mall patrons accused of shoplifting.
If you are arrested and accused of shoplifting you need an experienced Woodbridge Center mall shoplifting attorney to defend you. Many times shoplifting arrests happen because of a misunderstanding between the customer and the merchant. Or a shoplifting arrest can occur due to a mistake or a momentary lapse in judgment by the shopper. No matter the reason, anyone arrested for shoplifting in the Woodbridge Center mall requires the assistance of a Woodbridge Center mall shoplifting lawyer.
The New Jersey shoplifting statute recognizes six separate offenses defined as shoplifting: (1) taking merchandise out of the store with the intent to deprive the merchant of the merchandise’s value; (2) concealing merchandise while in the store; (3) altering or transferring price tags to alter/hide the true value of an item; (4) transferring merchandise to another container; (5) under ringing merchandise; and (6) removing a shopping cart from the property with the intent to steal it.
New Jersey police and courts treat shoplifting very seriously. Penalties for shoplifting can include jail time and substantial fines. The type of penalty imposed depends on the dollar amount of the items allegedly taken. The shoplifting statute sets out the following penalties:
- Value of merchandise less than $200 - disorderly persons offense; up to $1,000 fine; up to six months in jail;
- Value $200 to $500 – fourth degree crime (a felony); up to 18 months jail time; up to $10,000 fine;
- Value $500 to $75,000; third degree crime; up to five years jail time; up to $15,000 fine;
- Value over $75,000 – second degree crime; up to 10 years jail time; up to $150,000 fine
The New Jersey shoplifting laws also mandate 10 days community service for the first offense, 15 days for the second offense and 25 days for the third.
As can be seen from the above, the conviction on a charge of shoplifting can expose one to jail time and significant financial penalties. However, just because someone has been charged with shoplifting, or any crime, doesn’t mean that there is no recourse for the accused person. An experienced Woodbridge Center mall shoplifting attorney knows what records to get, what store videos there might be, what witnesses to talk to and what police reports can help his client. Remember, notwithstanding anything the police have charged when they arrest an individual, the prosecutor is obligated to prove ALL the elements of the charged crime beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction.
Moreover, an experienced Woodbridge mall shoplifting attorney can also negotiate an acceptable plea deal from a position of strength, forcing the prosecutor to see the weaknesses in her case and the strengths in the accused’s defense.
Todd Palumbo has practiced criminal defense in state and municipal courts in New Jersey for several years. He has an intimate knowledge of New Jersey shoplifting laws. He has defended shoplifting cases in courts throughout New Jersey. He has developed relationships with the prosecutors and judges that enable him to get the best deals for his clients. He also has the experience to take cases to trial and win for his clients. If you have been charged with shoplifting at the Woodbridge Center mall, you need an experienced shoplifting defense attorney. Contact Todd Palumbo for a consultation.